Gaderia is cattle-owning caste found in North India. Gaderia, Charvaha, Gwala are synonyms of a herdsman. Some scholars believe that, the name is derived from the Hindi word Gádar (Sheep), though it is debatable because the word Gádar which means sheep, is not a Hindi word it is from Bundeli (language spoken in Bundelkhand region).
In fact Gaderia was no particular community but an occupation which the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and other castes have taken to. Those who fled to jungles and hills to escape conversion during the Mughal period, made cattle grazing their profession. Initially, they were economically sound but their condition deteriorated in jungle surroundings. Thus an honorable community came to be looked upon as nomads.
1 History and origin
2 Present circumstances
3 See also
History and origin[edit source | editbeta]
The Gaderia of each region have different accounts to explain the origin of their community.
In Haryana, they says that during the reign of King Rama (7th incarnation of Vishnu, the Preserver in the Hindu Trinity) they were sent into the jungles, where they gradually took to rearing goats and sheep. They have four sub-groups, the Pal,Dhangar, Nabbhar, Kanchane and Saila. The community speak Haryanvi.
In Uttar Pradesh & Uttarkhand where a majority (4.5 million) lives and in Madhya Pradesh where they number around 7,40,000, the Baghela sect of the Gaderia derive their name from a river and trace their origin from a Baghela King. According to their traditional stories, during the Middle Ages a Baghela King ruled and they are descendant of the King.
In Maharashtra they are also known as Kurumwar and Dhangar, The Gaderia of Maharastra claim that their first ancestor was created by Mahadeo (synonym of Shiva, the Destroyer in the Hindu trinity) to tend his rams.
In Rajasthan (290,000) the Gaderia are commonly known as Gairi (from gaira, meaning sheep in the local dialect), and claim to be co-wanderers of Krishna, one of the most popularly worshiped gods who was a cowherd. Their oral tradition recalls their migration from Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, where Krishna lived.
The Gaderia people consider themselves as middle social ranking. They claim Kshatriya status, though this is disputed by the Baghela.
Present circumstances[edit source | editbeta]
The Gaderia are divided into Eighty Four sub castes (GOTRAS) i.e. Kokande , Bamhaniya, Chandel, Dhingar, Haranwal, Kachhwaha, Sisodia, Nikhar, Phul Singhiya, Rathore, Sagar, Saraswarand Thambar, Foolsange, tejwal, Bania ,Mohaniya, Kumiya, Hans, Rautela, etc.
They are Hindu and worshippers of the Shakti cult. In addition, they also worship a number of village deities.
Their main occupation has remained the rearing of cows and buffaloes, as well as sheep and goats. Generally, landholdings are small, and many members of the community are involved in private and government service. A significant number of Gaderia are now small and medium sized farmers.
They have a caste council, which deals with issues of disputes within the community, elopements, divorce and petty theft.
The four divisions of the Haryana do not intermarry. Each of the four sub-divisions are further divided into clans, the main ones being the Hirenwal, Bania, Saraswat, Katharia, Kastur, Jhindwaar, Panwar, Chandol, Kalandhar, Phulsange, Pakhia, Kokande,Chandal, Tikia-Chandan and Pipalhere. The Gadarias practice endogamy and maintain village and clan exogamy.
See also[edit source | editbeta]
References[edit source | editbeta]
Jump up^ IGNCA
Jump up^ Gaddi shepherds belong to several castes including Ahir, Brahmin, Rajput, Dhangar, Khatri, Rana and Thakur.
^ Jump up to:a b People of India Haryana Volume XXIII edited by M.K Sharma and A.K Bhatia pages 162 to 165 Manohar
Jump up^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part two by K S Singh page 481 Manohar Publications
Jump up^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part two by K S Singh page 480-485 Manohar Publications
January 12, 2011
Who are they?
The Gadaria are also referred to as Baghela or Pal, are a community of shepherds. The word Gadaria is derived from the Hindi word gadar meaning sheep and denotes “one who keeps or tends sheep”. Ethnologists, Russel and Hiralal (1916), describe them as “an occupational shepherd caste of northern India,” while another authority, William Crooke (1896), calls them “a caste of shepherds and blanket weavers.”
The traditional occupation of a majority of the Gadaria continues to be herding and rearing of sheep and goats for their wool, milk and meat. They also sell their animals in the local markets and fairs. Most of them own small-to-medium sized plots of land, or have acquired them under one of the official land-for-the-landless schemes in the post-independence period, and practice agriculture as a subsidiary occupation.
The Gadaria of each region have different accounts to explain the origin of their community. In Haryana, legend has it that during the reign of King Rama (7th incarnation of Vishnu, the Preserver in the Hindu trinity) they were sent into the jungles, where they gradually took to rearing goats and sheep. In Uttar Pradesh, where a majority (4.5 million) lives, they derive their synonym, Baghela, from the Baghela River which flows at the state’s border and trace their descent from a Baghela ruler.
In Maharashtra they are also known as Kurumwar and Dhangar, while in central Madhya Pradesh, where they number around 740,000, they are known as Gadri. The Gadaria of Maharastra claim that their first ancestor was created by Mahadeo (synonym of Shiva, the Destroyer in the Hindu trinity) to tend his rams. In Rajasthan (290,000) the Gadaria are commonly known as Gairi (from gaira, meaning sheep in the local dialect), and claim to be co-wanderers of Krishna, one of the most popularly worshipped gods who was a cowherd. Their oral tradition recalls their migration from Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, where Krishna lived. In Delhi (33,000) their synonyms are Pal or Pal Shari.
The Gadaria people consider themselves as middle social ranking but other communities consider them to be of a low social standing. The Gadaria do not accept food and water from certain low caste communities like the Chura (sweeper), Chamar (tanner), Nai (Barber) and Dhobi (washer man).
They live in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the union territory of Chandigarh.
They speak the language of the regions they reside in. Therefore in Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, it is Haryanvi, Rajasthani dialects and Hindi (which only the literate among them speak). In all these states, the Devanagari script is used except in Maharashtra, where their second language, Marathi, is written in its own distinct script. In Punjab and Chandigarh, the Gurmukhi script is used by Punjabi speaking Gadarias.
What Are Their Lives Like?
For the majority of the Gadaria, the primary occupation continues to be herding and rearing of sheep and goats for their wool, milk and meat. They sell their animals at local markets and fairs. Most of them own small-to-medium sized plots of land which have been acquired through official land-for-the-landless schemes in the post-independence period, and practice agriculture as a subsidiary occupation. In the hilly and forested state of Himachal Pradesh they have retained permission to collect firewood and graze their flocks in the forests. They also weave woolen blankets.
However, in states like Haryana and Delhi the Gadaria have virtually abandoned their traditional occupation and are engaged as laborers, masons and practice animal husbandry. In Haryana, the men push the handcart for transporting construction material and sand from riverbeds. They provide non-skilled labour in the industrial and private sectors. A few Gadaria make it to higher levels of government service – in defense and police services. Some of them are teachers in local schools.
The Gadaria approve half heartedly of formal education for their children, which results in low literacy levels. They may continue to study to the secondary school level and then drop out because of economic or social reasons. They use both indigenous and modern medicines and are fairly open to family planning. The government has an Integrated Rural Development Program which assists the Gadaria by providing subsidized credit facilities for animal husbandry, agriculture and other benefits.
The Gadaria are endogamous, i.e. they marry only within their community, and, usually, also observe the rule of village exogamy, i.e. marrying outside one’s village. A number of subgroups or sub-castes and clans are found among the Gadaria of different states. In Haryana, there are four subgroups, namely Nibbhar, Dhingar, Kanchane and Saila. The first two marry among themselves but not with the latter two. They are further divided into thirteen exogamous clans like Hirenwal, Saraswal and Kastur.
In Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra there are two endogamous subgroups named Dhangar and Nikhar, each considering itself superior to the other, and a number of clans. In Himachal Pradesh a third subgroup named Ochre is also sometimes added. The Gadaria of Madhya Pradesh have two subgroups called Disori and Larsia, with five or six clans each. In Punjab, Chandigarh and Rajasthan, they have five to twelve exogamous clans.
The Gadaria are monogamous but a second wife is allowed in exceptional cases such as barrenness of the first. Child marriage was practiced earlier, but this is changing. Marriages are arranged by negotiation between the family members. The matrimonial symbols for women are sindur (colored vermilion powder streaked along hair parting), bindi (coloured dot in the middle forehead), nose-studs and bangles. Dowry is given in cash and kind; and bride price is customary in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Divorce is only strictly sanctioned on grounds of adultery, impotency and mental sickness. In Haryana, divorce is not permissible under any circumstances. Remarriage is allowed.
Parental property is divided equally among sons only; the eldest son succeeds as head of the family. Daughters have no share unless the family has no male heir – in which instance, the son-in-law is invited to manage the property. The women have a low status in Gadaria society. Besides domestic chores, they tend the animals, grow vegetables, collect firewood, water and perform religious duties. They are adept at embroidery and weaving floor coverings. The community has a rich tradition of folktales, folksongs and dances. They use percussion and wind musical instruments; both men and women love to dance.
The Gadaria have a traditional caste council consisting of five to seven elders. In Rajasthan, headmen of 10 villages constitute the caste council. The council exercises control over the community and deals with family quarrels, divorce, adultery and elopement. The council levies cash fines and excommunicates the guilty.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Gadaria are Hindu. They worship all the major deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna and Rama. Vaishno Devi is held in special reverence. (She has attributes of all the three deities of the Hindu trinity.)
As is the norm with Hindu communities – each community can also worship a specific regional god or goddess. In Uttar Pradesh, Shakti worship is prevalent. (Shakti meaning power or energy) Wednesday’s are Gaumata (“Cow-mother”) day for worship. In Haryana, Khera Devta, a village deity is highly venerated and a lavish annual feast is celebrated for him.
In Rajasthan, the main regional deity is Bheru (“Sheep”), while Kalkamata (“Black mother” or Kali, goddess of destruction) is their village goddess. In Maharashtra local deities are worshipped for the welfare of livestock, while in Haryana and Chandigarh, Talokpara, whose shrine is near Kala Amb town, is a much-propitiated clan deity. In Chandigarh, idols of Sati (virtuous women who immolated themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre) are worshipped for the wellbeing of the family.
The Gadaria believe in evil spirits, ghosts and magic. Witchdoctors (Bhopa) are consulted for guidance and for curing diseases. All major festivals are celebrated. The dead are cremated and a period of death pollution observed; ancestor worship is prevalent.
Some Gadaria of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh have become followers of the Arya Samaj and Radhasoami sects which are egalitarian and non-idolatrous, though conceptually Hindu. A few Gadaria have adopted the Sikh religion.
What Are Their Needs?
These shepherds poor living circumstances and literacy levels; the hard life the women endure keep them bound to their rituals and power gods.
Photo source: Copyright © Isudas. Used with permission.
Send us a photo of this people. 
Map source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
Population  Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
6,350,000 Hindi Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %
Gadaria, Hindu of India
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Text source: Joshua Project
The Gaderia have virtually abandoned their traditional occupation of rearing sheep and goats. They are now mainly engaged as laborers in masonry work, while some are involved in animal husbandry. The Brahman are engaged for performing at birth, marriage and death rites and for imparting religious teachings. The Gaderia accept and exchange water and food with all other local communities except the Chura, Chamar and Deha.
Low literacy rates can be an obstacle to the Gospel, but not necessarily. If oral means of communication are effectively used, individuals can readily understand.
Christian workers need to carry the message of Christ to the Gadaria community using stories from Scripture, as well as Gospel recordings and films.
Pray for the followers of Christ
There may be no followers of Jesus among the Hindu Gadaria at the present time, but pray for those the Lord will soon bring to himself. Pray He is preparing teachers and pastors for them, and will also provide Scriptures and other study materials for them. Pray they will have teachable hearts.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray for the Hindu Gadaria community to be able to care well for their families. Pray also for the widow and orphans among them, that they will be well cared for.
"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns.'" 1 Chronicles 16:31
View Gadaria, Hindu in all countries.
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-10-12
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-08-14
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank: 31 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country: 6,350,000
Uttar Pradesh (4,315,000) Madhya Pradesh (912,000)
Rajasthan (462,000) Bihar (365,000)
Chhattisgarh (65,000) Uttarakhand (58,000)
Delhi (50,000) Jharkhand (26,000)
West Bengal (15,000) Maharashtra (4,800)
Total States on file: 21
Ethnolinguistic Map: University of Texas or other map
Peoples  Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Gadaria, Hindu
People Name General: Gadaria, Hindu
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 112021
Joshua Project People ID: 16768
Population in Country: 6,350,000
Population all Countries: 6,378,000
Engagement Status: Unengaged or Unknown
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Hindi
People Name General: Gadaria, Hindu
Ethnic Code: CNN25g
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Primary Language: Hindi (5,026,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hin Ethnologue Listing
Bhojpuri (387,000) Kanauji (378,000)
Awadhi (222,000) Mewari (107,000)
Marwari (79,000) Chhattisgarhi (46,000)
Malvi (40,000) Bundeli (32,000)
Maithili (25,000) Dhundari (19,000)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 34
Gang of Brothers: The Gadariya story
TNN Nov 9, 2004, 11.33pm IST
BHOPAL: Gang T1 — Target One — is what the Madhya Pradesh police calls them. Wanted for the last seven years, preferably dead, the Gadariya brothers are one of the dacoit gangs carrying on Chambal's outlaw tradition. Last Friday's massacre of 13 Gujjars at Bhanwarpura in Gwalior has brought this dreaded group back into the headlines, writing with blood what promises to be the first chapter in the region's next round of caste-based bloddletting.
Officially known as the Rambabu and Dayaram Gadariya gang, they have evaded the police for seven years. So secretive is the gang that the police doesn't know for sure what their numbers are. Till the last week of August, when the gang kidnapped an ayurvedic doctor and two health workers for ransom, the official police briefing said the Gadariya gang had eight members. Barely two months later, eyewitnesses to the Bhanwarpura outrage told the police the gang was 12-strong.
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Since 1997, the Gadariyas have abducted bank employees, school teachers, engineers, farmers and collected a ransom of over Rs 2 crore. The gang was founded seven years ago by Raghubir Gadariya after his wife left him for another man near Dabra in Gwalior. Raghubar killed his wife and her paramour and launched the gang with his nephews Rambabu, Dayaram, Vijay, Pratap and Gopal.
On December 12, 1999 Raghubar Gadariya and three of his associates were killed in a police encounter. The cops also claimed that dreaded Ram Babu Gadariya had also been killed. A jubilant Digvijay Singh government promoted one officer, but the euphoria was short-lived. Rambabu soon resurrected himself for a looting spree; the promoted cop was suspended.
The Gadariyas were cornered in April 2000. This time, the police nabbed the gang but could hold them for less than one year. In the second week of March 2001, six policemen armed with .303 rifles were escorting the handcuffed gang members to court in Dabra from Gwalior Jail in a fully-laden state-owned bus. The police were unaware that a dozen Gadariya accomplices had boarded the bus. The bus halted for a tea break at Chowrasi Ghati and accomplices pounced on the policemen, throwing chilly powder in their eyes. The Gadariyas were gone, and the cops were left crying.
The MP police has registered over two dozen cases against the Gadariyas, including murder, attempt to murder, looting, kidnappings and dacoity. According to them, the Gadariyas operate mainly in Shivpuri, sometimes entering Gwalior and parts of Datia. The government has announced a reward of Rs 2.5 lakh on Rambabu and another Rs 1.5 lakh on Dayaram Gadariya. Other members of the gang carry rewards totalling Rs 5.5 lakh.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jagdambika Pal (born 21 October 1950) is an Indian National Congress leader and a member of the 15th Lok Sabha. He was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for 3 days from 21 February 1998 to 23 February 1998.
He was born to Surya Baksha Pal and Mool Rajidevi at bharvaliya village of Bankati Block in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh state.
When, the Uttar Pradesh state government led by Kalyan Singh was dismissed on 21 February 1998 by Governor of Uttar Pradesh Romesh Bhandari, he became Chief Minister. Kalyan Singh moved Allahabad High Court which termed the dismissal of government unconstitutional on 23 February 1998, thereby reinstating the Kalyan Singh government.
Later, Jagdambika Pal became the president of the Uttar Pradesh state unit of the Congress. In 2009 he was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from Domariyaganj Lok Sabha constituency inSiddharthnagar district, Uttar Pradesh.
On 3rd July 2011, Jagdambika Pal and other members of Lok Sabha, lower house of the Parliament of India, opened Commemorative plaque at Mahua Dabar, where the British massacred 5,000 people during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
He founded Surya Baksha Pal Girls Inter college and Surya Baksha Pal Post Graduate Degree College at Bankati, Basti
Kalyan Singh Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (de facto)
21 February 1998 – 23 February 1998 Succeeded by
The Dhangar (Dhangad ) are a herding caste of people primarily located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The Kurumbar of Southern India are reasonably considered to belong to the same race. Their original home is said to be Gokul, Vrindavan, near Mathura. From Gokul they are said to have moved into Mewar, and from Mewar, to have spread into Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Etymology[edit source | editbeta]
The word "Dhangar" may be associated with a term for "cattle wealth" or be derived from the hills in which they lived (Sanskrit "dhang"). Ul Hassan noted that some people of his time believed the term to come from the Sanskrit "dhenugar" ("cattle herder") but dismissed that etymology as being "fictitious".
The Dhangar were described by British colonial researchers as industrious, honest and sincere. It was noted that, "truthful as a Dhangar" was a proverb among Indians.
Current situation[edit source | editbeta]
Traditionally being shepherds, cowherds, buffalo keepers, blanket and wool weavers, butchers and farmers, the Dhangars were late to take up modern-day education. Though it has a notable population, not only in Maharashtra but also in India at large, had a rich history, today it is still a politically highly disorganized community and is socially, educationally, economically and politically backward. They lived a socially isolated life due to their occupation, wandering mainly in forests, hills and mountains.[full citation needed]
Culture[edit source | editbeta]
The Dhangar produce a type of poetry known as ovi, often inspired by the forests and pastures where they graze their flocks. The ovi are formed of couplets, and can include legendary tales such as those of their god Biruba. Also in honour of Biruba, they perform the Dhangari Gaja dance.
Religion[edit source | editbeta]
Dhangars worship various forms of gods, including Shiva, Vishnu, Parvati and Mahalaxmi as their kuldaivat. These forms include Khandoba, Beeralingeswara (Biroba), Mhasoba, Dhuloba (Dhuleshwar), Vithoba,Siddhanath(Shidoba), Janai-Malai, Tulai, Yamai, Padubai, and Ambabai. They generally worship the temple of these gods that is nearest to their residence which becomes their kuladev and kuladevi. In Jejuri, the deity Khandoba is revered as the husband of Banai, in her incarnation as a Dhangar. He is, therefore, popular amongst the Dhangars, as they consider him their Kuldevata. Khandoba (literally "father swordsman") is the god of the shepherd community and the guardian deity of the Deccan.
Subdivisions[edit source | editbeta]
Further information: List of Dhangar clans in India
Tribes[edit source | editbeta]
Initially there were twelve tribes of Dhangar, and they had a division of labour amongst brothers of one family. This later formed three sub-divisions and one half-division. These three being Hatkar,Ahir (cowherds) or Mhaskar (Gujjar buffalo keepers), and Khutekar (wool and blanket weavers)/Sangar. The half-division is called Khateek or Khatik (butchers). All sub-castes fall in either of these divisions. All sub-divisions emerge from one stock, and all sub-divisions claim to be a single group of Dhangars. Studies have revealed that they are genetically the closest. The number three and a half is not a random selection but has a religious and cosmological significance.
All Dhangars of Western Maharashtra and Konkan/Marhatta country, like Holkars, can be termed "Marathas", but all Marathas are not Dhangars.
Clans in India[edit source | editbeta]
Reginald Edward Enthoven listed 22 endogamous groups (sub-castes) and 108 exogamous groups (clans) of Dhangars, though other scholars state that this is not exhaustive.
Dhangar / Shepherds – Politically Deprived Community!
Dhangar / Shepherds Representation in Parliament & Assembly...
India is Democratic country. Majority should rule India. Parliament is the supreme power centre in India and Assemblies are supreme power centers in states. Dhangar/ Shepherd is one of the big communities of India.
More ever, Dhangar Community may be one of the single largest communities of India. Population of Dhangar (Shepherd) community is around 11 percent. Although scattered, Dhangars are found in large numbers in UP, MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, AP, J&K, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh apart from Maharashtra. Though culturally/ socially/ professionally one community, Shepherds of India are known by different names across the country as Dhangar in Maharashtra, Kuruba in Karnataka, Rabari, Maldhari and Bharwad in Rajasthan and Gujarat, Gaddi, Bakkarwal in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, Meshshavak in Bengal, Kurumban/Kurumba/Kuruma/ in Tamilnadu, and Kerala, Gowala in Tripura and Pal, Gadaria, Dhangar in UP and MP; Kuruma in Andhra Paradesh; Gaderia, Pal in Haryana and Punjab respectively. Thus, Dhangars have fragmented social identity due to different names in different parts of India.
In addition to fragmented social identity Dhangars throughout India have Broken Political Identity due to different Political Nomenclature. Dhangars in majority part of India are in OBC Schedule. Dhangars of extreme north India and in some parts of India are in ST Schedule. Dhangars of central-north India are in SC Schedule. As a result Dhangars are kept away from socio-economic power as well as from political power. Political participation of this community which has got a legacy of rulers and is mainly a pastoral community is grossly and dangerously negligible. Looking at population percentage, Dhangars should have at least 54 MPs in Parliament. But there were only 3 MPs from largest Dhangar community in the last Parliament of 5